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The Cars – Move Like This

The Cars – Move Like This (2011, Hear Music)

1. “Blue Tip”
2. “Too Late”
3. “Keep On Knocking”
4. “Soon”
5. “Sad Song”
6. “Free”
7. “Drag On Forever”
8. “Take Another Look”
9. “It’s Only”
10. “Hits Me”

Ric Ocasek – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Elliot Easton – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Greg Hawkes – Keyboards, Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals
David Robinson – Drums, Backing Vocals

Producer: Jacknife Lee and The Cars

Believe it or not, I’m actually a fan of The Cars. Maybe not a HUGE fan (I don’t own Heartbeat City or Door to Door) but I like the early albums a lot. Though new wave music has some charm, it isn’t really a type of music I’ve ever listened to intently. Sure, I love the plethora of new wave hits that bombarded radio in the early ’80s like anyone else but I never cared enough to delve deeper into the scene. But yet… there’s something about The Cars that appeals to me. It’s probably the fact that while they are new wave, they aren’t strictly new wave. I think I would become very bored with them if they were only that. They combine power pop, rock, pop, hard rock and new wave into one nice package. A riff is just as likely to come from the guitar as it is from the keyboard and I honestly don’t think they receive enough accolades for just how good their music is.

I’ve also always enjoyed Ric Ocasek’s vocals and lyrics. His vocals have always had this calm, cold almost disconnected feeling to them, as if he was simply an observer. Meanwhile, the meaning of his lyrics aren’t always clear (in fact, sometimes I think it’s just gibberish so it’ll rhyme but that’s par for the course in new wave) but I’ve always enjoyed reading along as the song plays.

Well, what can be said about this album? First of all, it is it the first Cars album since 1987. The original Cars disbanded in 1988 but in 2005 a bit of an odd thing happened — The New Cars formed. Yet, it only featured Cars members Greg Hawkes & Elliot Easton and rounding out the band were Todd Rundgren and frequent Rundgren collaborators Prairie Prince and Kasim Sulton. The group toured playing a mix of Rundgren and Cars tunes but did release a live album called It’s Alive that featured a three new studio tracks but it was predominantly filled with classic Cars tunes (two Rundgren tracks also made the cut). I guess there was more money to be made cashing in on The Cars’ name than Rundgren’s.

Well, The New Cars were done by 2007 and in 2010 the original Cars were back together (sadly, original bassist Benjamin Orr passed away in 2000). I’m not familiar with the details of this reunion. A Cars reunion had been rumored since the late ’90s but Ocasek always rebuffed such gossip and a part of the reason The New Cars formed is because he had no interest in doing such a reunion. So why now? I’m not sure. Whether it’s for personal or financial fulfillment Move Like This is no lazy effort. I have to think there’s more of an artistic than monetary reason for this reunion, otherwise I’m sure they could’ve floated by on the summer touring circuit just being a nostalgia act. But to record new and release new music? That exemplifies dedication and passion in this day and age in an industry that isn’t kind to aging acts… and is barely kind to the young ones!

More about the album itself, as soon as it opens with quirky upbeat “Blue Tip”, you know you’re listening to The Cars. While it isn’t my favorite song on the album,  it definitely sounds like something that could have come from the first few albums. To me, there’s no mistaking when you hear The Cars and that’s the great thing about this whole album — it’s like a lost Cars release! Even though this album still fits under new wave, because of all the other rock/pop influences I mentioned, it still has a timeless sound to it just like the band’s early releases do. Another great thing about The Cars are the ballads and they do not disappoint on this release. “Too Late”, “Soon” and “Take Another Look” are all fantastic moments on this album with “Too Late” being my favorite song on the whole release. The rest of the album is the usual high standard of upbeat sounding (if not lyrically) numbers we’ve come to expect from this band like “Sad Song”, “Free”, “Hits Me” and the aforementioned “Blue Tip”.

Ric has crafted something really special with Move Like This. It is a more than worthy addition to the band’s catalog and if any of these songs get played in a live setting, they’ll fit in seamlessly with the rest of the band’s classics. Casual fans probably won’t even be able to tell these are new songs.

Highlights: “Blue Tip”, “Too Late”, “Soon”, “Sad Song”, “Take Another Look”, “Hits Me”

Get ‘Move Like This’ at!

Marvelous 3 – Hey! Album

Marvelous 3 – Hey! Album (1998, Elektra Records)

1. “You’re So Yesterday” .. 3:56
2. “Freak of the Week” … 3:20
3. “Until You See” … 4:20
4. “Write It On Your Hand” … 3:23
5. “Let Me Go” … 3:21
6. Every Monday” … 3:06
7. “Indie Queen” … 4:52
8. “#27” … 2:51
9. “Mrs. Jackson” … 3:33
10. “Over Your Head” … 3:40
11. “Vampires In Love” … 4:01
12. “Lemonade” … 6:42

Butch Walker – Vocals, Guitar
Jayce Fincher – Bass
Doug Mitchell (aka – Mitch “Slug” McLee) – Drums

Producer: Butch Walker & Jim Ebert

The second album (first major label release) from the short-lived but fantastic power pop/rock group Marvelous 3. It was the only album to produce a hit single (“Freak of the Week”). I knew nothing about this band or album or “Freak of the Week” until I picked up ReadySexGo two years later but when I backtracked and bought this album, I ended up loving it almost as much as I love ReadySexGo.

Released in October of ’98, the album was actually self-released in early ’98 but then Elektra signed the band and the album was remixed and a few songs were dropped/added. “Cold As Hell” was on the original version of the album and later found its way onto ReadySexGo.

I don’t really know what to tell you if you can’t get into this album. Marvelous 3 is one of the catchiest bands of all time. Every song is a sing-along, whether it’s bombastic anthems like “Freak of the Week” and “You’re So Yesterday” or melancholy moments like “Until You See” and “Let Me Go”. Butch is a great vocalist and great lyricist. I’ve always loved the sense of humor, wordplay, self-deprecation and teenage emotions that come through in his lyrics. Sample from “Vampires In Love”: And now you know that I suck at this/and you suck at it too/And now we’re nothing more than/vampires in love

How this band never went on to sell millions of albums I’ll never know. Butch went on to become a successful songwriter/producer but he’s gone on a totally different path as a solo act, which is a shame. Anyone that’s a fan of power pop should love this album.

Highlights: “You’re So Yesterday”, “Freak Of The Week”, “Until You See”, “Write It On Your Hand”, “Let Me Go”, “Every Monday”, “Indie Queen”

40FT. RINGO – Funny Thing

40Ft. Ringo – Funny Thing (2003, Atenzia Records)

1. “Anyway”… 2:41
2. “Wired” … 3:31
3. “Inside Your Head” … 2:38
4. “Big Fat Smile” … 3:25
5. “Origami Mommy” … 4:26
6. “Book Of Virtues” … 3:52
7. “Be My Fix” …
8. “A Freak Like You” … 3:01
9. “Unbroken” … 3:14
10. “Miss You Blue” … 4:00
11. “Anti-Zero” … 3:15
12. “Fanatic” … 3:25
13. “Tough” … 3:07

Steve Brown – Vocals, Guitar
Maz – Guitar
P.J. Farley – Bass
Brian Gabriel – Drums

Producer: Steve Brown & P.J. Farley

Early last decade, I had a great affinity for modern power pop/hard rock music. I loved the music that was being put out by Marvelous 3, Tsar, American Hi-Fi, Zebrahead and 40Ft. Ringo. I’ve been familiar with most of this album for nearly 8 years now (I think most of it “leaked” much earlier than the album’s release) but it was only recently I finally snatched up a used copy on for only a few bucks.

Much like Marvelous 3, 40Ft. Ringo has a hair metal connection — both Steve Brown and P.J. Farley are members of New Jersey hair rockers Trixter. I’m not too familiar with Trixter’s work, they came along as the scene was dying and never got glowing reviews so I haven’t bothered to sample much other than their singles.

As for this album, it’s an infectious rock & power pop album complete with a bit of the punk pop sound that was popular about the time this album was released (Blink-182, SR-71, Eve 6… Why all the numbers ?!?). There’s so many great radio-ready songs on this album. While this is an indie release that I’m sure had an extremely limited marketing budget, I’m also certain the fact that half the band was from a “hair band” didn’t help them at all. It’s sad but that’s just the way mainstream entertainment industry operates.

It’s great to finally have this album in my collection as I hadn’t heard these songs in years and still remembered most of them!

Highlights: “Anyway”, “Inside Your Head”, “Big Fat Smile”, “Origami Mommy”, “Book Of Virtues”, “Be My Fix”, “Anti-Zero”, “Tough”

STARZ – Attention Shoppers!

Starz – Attention Shoppers! [Remastered] (2005, Rykodisc)
Original Release: 1978, Capitol Records

1. “Hold On To The Night” … 3:19
2. “She” … 3:22
3. “Third Time’s The Charm”4:36
4. “(Any Way That You Want It) I’ll Be There” … 3:24
5. “Waitin’ On You” … 3:24
6. “X-Ray Spex” … 3:29
7. “Good Ale We Seek” … 4:43
8. “Don’t Think” … 3:46
9. “Johnny All Alone” … 7:31
10. “Texas” … 3:58
11. “Wind” … 4:18

Michael Lee Smith – Vocals
Richie Ranno – Guitar
Brenden Harkin – Guitar
Peter Sweval – Bass
Joe Dube – Drums

Producer: Starz

Ever since discovering Violation I’ve been in a major mood for Starz.  The band blended a variety of styles together so effortlessly: glam rock, power pop, rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal. Attention Shoppers! dives completely into power pop and turns away from drafting up too many heavy numbers that might have been at home on Violation.

“X-Ray Spex” and “Good Ale We Seek” seem to get a lot of praise as being the two best rock songs on the album, but I personally feel “X-Ray Spex” is kinda weak. “Good Ale We Seek” is a good, but odd sounding song. It’s a bit trippy, but I like it. The lyrics are really fun. “Johnny All Alone” is a mid-tempo track that reminds me a bit of Ted Nugent when it comes to the guitars.

Even the bonus tracks are really good. I’m not sure when they were recorded, if they were B-sides or whatever, but they’re good. “Texas” is a fun boogie rocker and “Wind” comes across as southern rock to me. See? This band did it all and they did it well! Maybe this album would’ve been better reviewed and a tad more successful if these songs were on the album.

This album is another strong release from the band. I sound like a broken record but it’s absolutely criminal these guys didn’t find a wider fan base with these albums. Guitarist Richie Ranno didn’t like this more commercial direction and hated the album for years. Only recently has he changed his mind and admitted the album is pretty good.

What I find interesting is that according to the band history in the CD booklet (all the Rykodisc reissues talk about the events surrounding each album), Ranno was at war with bassist Peter Sweval and the band’s other guitarist Brendan Harkin over the direction of the band. They wanted a poppy sound, Ranno wanted hard rock. For some odd reason, Michael Lee Smith & Joe Dube stayed out the argument. I guess they were content to do whatever they were told to do.

Outnumbered, Ranno lost the argument and we got this album. Also, producer Jack Douglas (who produced the band’s first two releases) wasn’t available at the time but Capitol Records was demanding new material so the album was self-produced. If Douglas was leading the way, I think we would have had a very different album.

The end result of all of that is a very commercial album that is just as good as their harder material. It’s just too bad that the commercial sound turned off the small fan base they had.

Highlights: “Hold On To The Night”, “She”, “Third Time’s The Charm”, “Good Ale We Seek”, “Johnny All Alone”, “Texas”

Concert Review: DEF LEPPARD, POISON, CHEAP TRICK – 7/23/09

Def Leppard, Poison, Cheap Trick


DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI

In the days leading to this show, we weren’t sure how the weather was going to be. For the past two weeks, the days in this region have been cloudy one minute, looking like it’s about to pour, then the sun would come out. They were calling for thunderstorms in the Clarkston area starting at 4PM and lasting through 11PM, but luckily that didn’t happen even though clouds did come and go for awhile right around 7PM when the show started. It wasn’t too hot either (80 degrees is still warmer than I would like though).

I bought another t-shirt. I really wanted to get either a Def Leppard or Poison tour shirt, listing the dates on the back, but my fiancee convinced me to get a really cool winged skull Def Leppard t-shirt. It looks similar to this one, but the graphic is a bit different (and cooler looking) plus it’s a dark brown color. I picked out the pink Poison t-shirt for my girl, who was wanting a Def Leppard shirt but I convinced her girls always look hot in pink.

We got to DTE pretty early, making better time than we made coming here last week, so we stood around the east entrance waiting until they opened the gates (which they were late doing for some reason). The cool thing about arriving so early was that we got there to hear the final few minutes of Def Leppard’s soundcheck.

The show was a sellout, which I figured would be the case thanks to all the MILFs that grew up on Poison & Def Leppard plus because of Bret’s recent rise in popularity as a reality TV show star. We had tried to upgrade our tickets at the box office (in fear of bad weather) so we could get under the pavilion, but there were no tickets left to upgrade to.

Cheap Trick setlist

“She’s Tight”
“I Want You To Want Me”
“These Days”
“Never Had A Lot To Lose”
“Sick Man of Europe”
“Dream Police”
“The Flame”

Oh my! Cheap Trick actually hit the stage at the scheduled showtime of 7PM! Seems like every concert I go to, the show begins 15-20 minutes before the announced starting time. They immediately had the crowd in the palm of their hand. DTE was about half full and filling up rapidly as they hit the stage.

The start of the show was pretty weird. It began with a bunch of sound clips from TV/movies/whatever or people mentioning Cheap Trick or singing their songs and it also had a bit of their song “Transformers (The Fallen Remix)” from the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – The Album soundtrack. This went on for a number of minutes.

I’m 95% sure this is the correct setlist. I know they played “She’s Tight” in there somewhere even though I don’t have it in my notes and my notes also left off what they opened with, so I’m assuming it actually was “She’s Tight”. Regardless, they did a fantastic job and the crowd ate it up. They had one of the cleanest sounds I have ever heard live and Zander’s voice was in fine form and really popped the crowd during “The Flame” (“I will be the flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmme!”). For a song that the band has expressed displeasure with over the years, “The Flame” went over extremely well with the crowd.

I’ve never been a huge Cheap Trick fan, but I can’t imagine any diehards being disappointed with this performance at all.

Poison setlist

“Look What The Cat Dragged In”
“Ride the Wind”
“Your Mama Don’t Dance”
C.C. DeVille solo
“Fallen Angel”
“Something to Believe In”
“Unskinny Bop”
Rikki Rockett solo
“Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
“Talk Dirty to Me”
“Nothin’ But A Good Time”

Poison was as over as water in the desert. As Cheap Trick was winding down their set, DTE was at full capacity and the place came unglued for Poison, especially the ladies. Poison could easily come back next year and sell out at DTE if last night was any indication. This isn’t a knock on Def Leppard, but had the show ended with Poison, I think most people would’ve gone home happy!

There was too much buzz in the mix, which made it hard to listen to at some points, but overall, the band gave it their all and put on a solid show with Bret being the great showman that he is, running and jumping and taking time to talk to the crowd. It’s a great touch when the bands actually remember the venues and cities and talk about their history there. Numerous times Bret mentioned playing in Detroit in the early years, getting their start at Blondie’s, moving up to Harpo’s and then Pine Knob (what it was called before the corporate buyout and name change to DTE Energy in 2002). Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielson also commented on Pine Knob (“…or whatever the fuck they’re calling it!”) and cited Detroit as being the first city to put Cheap Trick on the radio.

I’d love for Poison to finally get their heads on straight and put out a new album so we could get a setlist change. Or at least for them to start pulling some lesser-played songs out of their catalog. These are great songs they play live now, but even if you haven’t seen Poison live before (which I hadn’t), you’ve already heard these songs a million times.

Def Leppard setlist

“Rock Rock (Till You Drop)”
“Too Late For Love”
“Nine Lives”
“Love Bites”
“Rock On”
“Two Steps Behind” [acoustic]
“Bringin’ On The Heartbreak”
“Switch 625”
“Armageddon It”
“Pour Some Sugar On Me”
“Rock Of Ages”
“Let’s Get Rocked”

AMAZING show from these guys. Just like Cheap Trick, the sound was very clean and they are both tied for the best live sounds I’ve heard yet. I loved the stage set up too and the big video screens they had playing throughout the show.

I was really looking forward to watching Vivian and Phil play and they did not disappoint. Def Leppard is a band of professionals and everyone sounded great all night long. I didn’t think Joe’s voice was that strong anymore in a live setting, but he proved me wrong (only once or twice did I hear his voice strain).

The setlist was great and nearly perfect for a first-timer seeing them live. My only beef is that they skipped over the Euphoria album, which was a surprising success in 1999, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to acknowledge it. “Promises” fits in with their classic material and I wish they would have played it. I also would’ve love to have heard “Man Love Like A Man” from Adrenalize. “Rock Rock (Till You Drop)” was a great choice to open the show. “Too Late for Love” was another highlight for me.

This whole tour is definitely one worth seeing. The tickets can be a little pricey (definitely more so than last week’s Judas Priest/Whitesnake show) but it’s money well spent to see these three bands play. All three are great live acts.

CHEAP TRICK – At Budokan

Cheap Trick – At Budokan (1979, Epic Records)

1. “Hello There” … 2:27
2. “Come On, Come On” … 3:17
3. “Lookout” … 3:01
4. “Big Eye” … 3:55
5. “Need Your Love” … 8:46
6. “Ain’t That A Shame” … 5:09
7. “I Want You To Want Me” … 3:45
8. “Surrender” … 4:25
9. “Goodnight” … 3:08
10. “Clock Strikes Ten” … 4:01

Robin Zander – Vocals, Guitar
Rick Nielsen – Guitar
Tom Petersson – Bass
Bun E. Carlos – Drums

Produced by: Cheap Trick

Another live album where it just happened to be my first exposure to the band. Of course, I was already familiar with most of Cheap Trick’s biggest singles. I was interested in hearing an album from them so I went with their most legendary release, which had done wonders for the band’s popularity (much like Alive! did for KISS) upon its release.

This album didn’t convert me into a huge Cheap Trick fan or convince me to pick up any of their other releases, but it’s still a fine release and I suppose every rock fan should at least listen to this album once just to form their own opinion on one of rock’s most famous albums. It’s hard to argue with catchy energetic songs like “Big Eye”, “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender”.

“Need Your Love” is my favorite track from this album. Sounds like an obvious influence for some of the trippy poppy stuff Stone Temple Pilots would do in the 90s.

Highlights: “Big Eye”, “Need Your Love”, “Ain’t That A Shame”, “I Want You To Want Me”, “Surrender”

AMERICAN HI-FI – American Hi-Fi

American Hi-Fi – American Hi-Fi (2001, Island Records)

1. “Surround” … 3:11
2. “Flavor of the Weak” … 3:08
3. “A Bigger Mood” … 3:38
4. “Safer on the Outside” … 4:01
5. “I’m a Fool” … 4:00
6. “Hi-Fi Killer” … 3:05
7. “Blue Day” … 3:33
8. “My Only Enemy” … 3:27
9. “Don’t Wait for the Sun” … 3:50
10. “Another Perfect Day” … 3:38
11. “Scar” … 4:03
12. “What About Today” … 3:34
13. “Wall of Sound” … 5:48

Stacy Jones – Vocals, Guitar
Jamie Arentzen – Guitar
Drew Parsons – Bass
Brian Nolan – Drums

Produced by: Bob Rock

Another album from 2001 that really worked for me during a time of hudge drama. American Hi-Fi are a blend of alternative, power pop and pop punk (which was an extremely popular genre in the early 00s). I’ve never really cared for pop punk, but I was heavily into modern day power pop at the time with bands like Tsar, 40 Ft. Ringo, Lit, Zebrahead, Weezer and of course, one my favorite bands of all time Marvelous 3. American Hi-Fi came along went a sound that was slick and not too slick. The album has more of an alternative rock edge than the previously mentioned bands’ work and it’s not quite as cheery and carefree.

I spent a lot of time sitting on the bed with my headphones on, using a DISCMAN,  in my friend’s house in Virginia (where I stayed while going to college for a semester) listening to the melancholy/aggressive songs like “Safer on the Outside”, “My Only Enemy” (which, with a little more sprucing up, could be a NIN song) and “Don’t Wait for the Sun”. I got a lot of poetry done being inspired by the music and the word of Stacy Jones.

“Flavor of the Weak” hit #5 on Billboard’s Modern Rock charts, but it’s a shame the album wasn’t more successful, it’s definitely a worthwhile rock/pop entry for the early 2000s.

The band has been in limbo for a few years after The Art of Losing (2003) and Hearts on Parade (2005, and produced by Butch Walker!) were commercial failures. Supposedly, a new album, which was initially planned for 2008, is still on the horizon. In the meantime, Jones has gone on to produce a number of albums and is the “music director” for Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus and is also her touring drummer.

Highlights: “Flavor of the Weak”, “A Bigger Mood”, “Safer on the Outside”, “My Only Enemy”, “”Don’t Wait for the Sun”, “Another Perfect Day”, “Wall of Sound”

BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION – Here Come the Brides

Brides of Destruction – Here Come the Brides (2004, Sanctuary Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Shut the F*ck Up” … 3:03
2. “I Don’t Care” … 3:21
3. “I Got a Gun” … 3:48
4. “2x Dead” … 5:38
5. “Brace Yourself” … 4:04
6. “Natural Born Killers” … 4:31
7. “Life” … 3:32
8. “Revolution” … 4:37
9. “Only Get So Far” … 5:07

London LeGrand – Lead Vocals
Tracii Guns – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nikki Sixx – Bass, Backing Vocals
Scot Coogan – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
John Corabi – Rhythm Guitar
Kris Kohls – Drums

Produced by: Steve Bruno

Brides of Destruction were a “supergroup”, which was put together by Nikki Sixx (while Motley Crue took one of their many breaks) and L.A. Guns’ Tracii Gun. Ex-Motley Crue singer John Corabi was recruited to play guitar and nu-metal band Adema’s Kris Kohls was to be the drummer, but both were out of the band by the time of this album’s release.

I remember London LeGrand catching a lot of flack before the album was even released, with some of the more negative rock/metal sites saying he “sucked” and was a horrible singer. Just not hearing that here. The guy’s voice is fitting this music perfectly, which is a blend of 80s hard rock, punk, power pop, and modern hard rock. I love London’s performance on “I Got a Gun”.

The band never took off though, even though they did manage to get an appearance on The Tonight Show. They chose “Shut the F*ck Up” as their lead single, which was a mistake because it was heavily edited for radio and received very little play. The band even chose to play that song on The Tonight Show and it sounded horrible without them being able to utter that four-letter word.

I remember as soon as the album was released, Nikki was crowing about how much more material they had and that they would be releasing ANOTHER album in 2004, but it never happened. Eventually, Motley came calling again and Nikki ditched the band, though they soldiered on without him and released Runaway Brides in 2005.

This album shows a lot of promise though, I don’t think there’s any filler here and I’ve often wondered what the follow-up album would’ve sounded like if Nikki had remained fully involved.

“Only Get So Far” was originally written by Nikki with Faith Hill & Tim McGraw in mind, but that didn’t pan out. And if anyone still has complaints about London’s voice, they should check out that song as well.

Highlights: “Shut the F*ck Up”, “I Got A Gun”, “2x Dead”, “Brace Yourself”, “Life”, “Only Get So Far”

CRASH KELLY – One More Heart Attack

Crash Kelly – One More Heart Attack (2008, Warrior Records)

Track Listing:
1. “One More Heart Attack” … 3:55
2. “Jenny Jet” … 4:40
3. “Old Habits Die Hard (And The Good Die Young)” … 3:56
4. “The Devil You Know” … 3:32
5. “Love Won’t Die” … 4:31
6. “Nottingham Rock City Blues” … 2:48
7. “Right Girl, Wrong Time” … 3:58
8. “Trash Talk” … 3:03
9. “Falling In And Out” … 3:18
10. “16 On A Summer Night” … 4:05

Sean Kelly – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Gene Scarpelli – Guitar
Allister Thompson – Bass
Tim Timleck – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Gilby Clarke – Percussion, Guitar
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Brian Tichy – Drums
Chad Richardson – Harmony Vocals
Craig McConnell – Bass, Keyboards

Produced by: Gilby Clarke (Tracks 1-5), Sean Kelly & Craig McConnell (Tracks 6-10)

This is a fun, breezy listen perfect for summer and I’ve found myself listening to it a lot in the past few days. The more I listen to it, the more I’m enjoying the songs. The cool people at Warrior Records were kinda enough to pass this along to me and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve know *of* this band for sometime, but I’ve never listened to them and I’m glad I was afforded the luxury to do so.

There’s no denying the influences here: 70s glam rock and power-pop. The album art is an fun tribute to Alice Cooper’s School’s Out and the Cooper influence shows up again with the vocals during “Trash Talk” and there’s touches of Slade and Thin Lizzy to be heard on the album as well. “Falling In and Out” is probably the most commercial sounding song, a good piece of modern power-pop that would sound fine playing over the radio.

Highlights: “One More Heart Attack”, “Jenny Jet”, “Love Won’t Die”, “Right Girl, Wrong Time”, “Trash Talk”, “Falling In and Out”, “16 On A Summer Night”

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